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Justice to au officer.

Richmond, February 15, 1864.
To the Editor of the Dispatch:
In your issue of January 30, there is an extract from the correspondence of the Petersburg Express, of Jan'y 29, which is so pregnant with injustice to a command which is distinguished in the Army of Tennessee for its courage and discipline, that I cannot let it pass without correction. The entire letter of the correspondent is full of errors, but it is my desire particularity to notice that contained in the following extract:

"There is something wrong about the cavalry officers. The material is as good as can be desired, but the discipline is wretched, and it is almost in efficient in consequence. A striking instance of this occurred in the present movement. Harrison's brigade was ordered to make a certain movement which promised the successful capture of about one thousand horses from which the enemy had dismounted. The move was made, the horses were actually captured, the men in charge shot down, But, instead of turning back the horses under a sufficient guard, our cavalry became a mob of plunderers, commenced rilling the hoisters of pistols, doubted themselves with sports, and in the midst of their confusion, a brigade of Federal cavalry desired in, recovered the horses, and scattered our men."

The movement referred to was not ordered by the General commanding, or any other officer, but Col, Harrison in following out general instructions, and supposing he would have infancy support judged it proper to be made. It would have been a complete success, if the support relied on had been present.

These are the facts: Col. Harrison was ordered with a portion of his brigade of cavalry to protect the right flank of our advancing line of infantry. To do this he moved his command in advance and to the right of our line of infantry skirmishers.--When within two miles of Dandridge he came upon a force of the enemy's mounted infantry, then dismounted and deployed for battle. Col. B. Immediately dismounted the 3d Arkansas, with orders to hold the position in front of the enemy, and with the 8th and 11th Texas cavalry he deflected to the right in order to gain their rear. The horses spoken of belonged to the dismounted line of the enemy, and were a few paces in its rear. Some three hundred paces further to the rear was a strong force of the enemy's cavalry already in line of battle. To secure the horses it was evidently necessary to dispose of this supporting force. Col. H. ordered the 8th and 11th Texas to attack, which was done with vigor and spirit. In the progress of this fight a portion of the dismounted line of the enemy changed front and attacked the 8th and 11th Texas in the rear. These two regiments were already hotly engaged with the force in front, greatly outnumbering their own, but their achievements heretofore are the best guarantee that this disparity would not have been fatal to the success of the movement had the rear attack been prevented. Our infantry skirmishers, in conformity with whose movements Col. H. had acted on this occasion, were perhaps and hour in advance of the main line. This was occasioned by the extreme ruggedness of the country over which they marched. Without imputing any blame to the infantry officers, Col. H. was disappointed by not having their support β€” support which, had they been upon the ground, would have effectually prevented the rear attack upon the 8th and 11th Texas. These two regiments, attacked in front, flank, and rear, were necessarily withdrawn, rough the ground lost was soon regained, but not until the enemy had removed the horses. There is no excuse whatever for the statement that the horses were lost because "our cavalry became a mob of plunderers." They had no time to plunder. They were the whole time vigorously opposed by superior forces; and although these gallant regiments did no better fighting here than on many other occasions which have made their names famous in the Army of Tennessee, yet the command was complimented for this particular movement in unequivocal terms by Gen. Jenkins, who had charge of the attacking force, and by Lieut.-Gen. Longstreet, commanding the army.

In reply to the writer's reflection upon the character of the cavalry now under command of Maj.-Gen. Martin in East Tennessee, it is sufficient to say that β€˜it is the same which so long served under General Bragg, and which in that distinguished officer's official reports has been styled his "invincible cavalry." In justice to men who have won that compliment from a commander just, but not profligate, in his praises, I ask the publication of the foregoing statement.’

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